11 March 2021 - NW533
Ismail, Ms H to ask the Minister of Health
(1)Which vaccines will be rolled out to health-care specialists as compared to citizens; (2) whether he will furnish Ms H Ismail with the full list of the names of the suppliers of the vaccines; (3) whether he has found that his department has sufficient cold storage facilities to store the incoming vaccines effectively; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) whether he will furnish Ms H Ismail with a list of essential workers who will be prioritised for the vaccines?
1. We are currently providing healthcare workers with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Thereafter we will access the Pfizer vaccine for healthcare workers and persons eligible for phase 2. The commercial stock of Johnson and Johnson vaccines will become available in mid quarter two. Thereafter the rollout programme will be based on these two vaccines;
2. Johnson&Johnson Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals;
3. A team has been investigating the cold storage capacity in South Africa and has been able to quantify the storage capacity across the country. The Johnson&Johnson vaccine is stored at fridge temperature for which there is adequate storage capacity. The Pfizer vaccine is stored at -70 degrees hence there is need for specialised storage facilities which we have secured. The team has been planning the logistics related to the storage, delivery and administration for each of the vaccines. South Africa has a vaccine programme that delivers close to 20m doses of vaccines annually so there is existing infrastructure, systems and human resources. This programme is on a much larger scale however vaccinations are not new for the department.
4. The Department did provide an initial list of essential workers that would make up phase two which included civil servants in particular sectors of the economy. Subsequently we have received representation from a number of sectors motivating for inclusion as essential workers. We are engaging with these matters and will provide a final list in the next couple of weeks.